Wednesday, April 27, 2005

More Thoughts from Anne Lamott

I finished Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith. While I never want to sit and watch her speak again (she drove me nuts with her attention-deficit approach to addressing a crowd often stopping to comment on what she looked like on the monitor), I LOVE the way this woman writes. Here are a few goodies I gleaned:

  • . . . we should try to stay on God's good side. It's not hard. God has extremely low standards. Pray, take care of people, be actively grateful for your blessings, give away your money -- you're cool. You're in. Nice room in heaven, flossing no longer required -- which is what will make it heaven for me. Oh, I mean that, and Jesus.
  • Left to my own devices, I find myself hurrying along with my head down, shoulders hunched, my hands grasped behind my back like Groucho Marx. But Sam [her son] beside me and the songs of unseen birds make me look up and around, make me notice the patches of blue sky between the dense branches. Maybe this is what grace is, the unseen sounds that make you look up. I think that's why we are here, to see as many chips of blue sky as we can bear.
  • I live by the truth that "No" is a complete sentence. I rest as a spiritual act.
  • On the day I die, I want to have had dessert. So this informs how I live now.
  • Look, my feet hurt some mornings, and my body is less forgiving when I exercise more than I am used to. But I love my life more, and me more. I'm so much more juicier. And as that old saying goes, it's not that I think less of myself, but that I think of myself less often. And that feels like heaven to me.
  • While she was alive, I spent my life like a bitter bellhop, helping my mother carry around her psychic trunks.
  • I remember something Father Tom had told me -- that the opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty. Certainty is missing the point entirely. Faith includes noticing the mess, the emptiness and discomfort, and letting it be there until some light returns. Faith also means reaching deeply within, for the sense one was born with, the sense, for example, to go for a walk.
  • Hope is not about proving anything. It's about choosing to believe this one thing, that love is bigger than any grim, bleak shit anyone can throw at us.
  • Augustine said that you have to start your relationship with God all over from the beginning, every day. Yesterday's faith does not wait for you like a dog with your slippers and the morning paper in its mouth. You seek it, and in seeking it, you find it.


beholdhowfree said...

Hey, I'm in the middle of this book myself right now! Glad to see that we both liked some of the same parts. I find her self-depracating style to be, for the most part, extremely charming.

Finding the Happy said...

These are yummy...thanks for the soul food.

Laura said...

Hey KC -
I've been lurking on your blog for a while (I know, bad blogger etiquette!). But, since I love Anne Lamott, I thought it was time to post.
I enjoy reading your days.

Laura Seals